WSR 12-06-025


[ Filed March 1, 2012, 9:37 a.m. ]



The Washington attorney general issues formal published opinions in response to requests by the heads of state agencies, state legislators, and county prosecuting attorneys. When it appears that individuals outside the attorney general's office have information or expertise that will assist in the preparation of a particular opinion, a summary of that opinion request will be published in the state register. If you are interested in commenting on a request listed in this volume of the register, you should notify the attorney general's office of your interest by March 28, 2012. This is not the due date by which comments must be received. However, if you do not notify the attorney general's office of your interest in commenting on an opinion request by this date, the opinion may be issued before your comments have been received. You may notify the attorney general's office of your intention to comment by calling (360) 586-0728, or by writing to the Office of the Attorney General, Solicitor General Division, Attention Jeffrey T. Even, Deputy Solicitor General, P.O. Box 40100, Olympia, WA 98504-0100. When you notify the office of your intention to comment, you may be provided with a copy of the opinion request in which you are interested; information about the attorney general's opinion process; information on how to submit your comments; and a due date by which your comments must be received to ensure that they are fully considered.

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The attorney general's office seeks public input on the following opinion request(s):

Opinion Docket No. 12-02-03

Request by Honorable Brian Blake

State Representative, 19th District

1. Is a property owner entitled to use one exemption under RCW 90.44.050 to withdraw less than 5,000 gallons per day, whether for single or group domestic use, regardless of the size or the number of contiguous parcels commonly owned by the owner?

2. When considering common ownership as a reason to require a permit under RCW 90.44.050, what makes commonly owned parcels "one development project?" And when must Ecology or the local permitting authority determine that parcels are under common ownership and are "one development project" of a size and nature that require a water right permit?

3. How far back in time or into the future can Ecology or the local permitting authority consider land use actions and common ownership of parcels to make a determination of whether a water right permit was needed, or will be needed at the time the initial permit exempt well gets drilled to serve the initial single subdivision in an amount not to exceed 5,000 gallons per day?

4. If Ecology can make a retroactive decision that parcel(s) under common ownership developed in such a manner and sequence over a long period of time that today, the permit exemption may not apply to the initial subdivision project if all commonly owned parcels are retroactively considered in toto, can Ecology require owner(s) of the initial subdivision project to obtain a permit after water from the permit-exempt well is put to beneficial use in an amount not exceeding 5,000 gallons per day?

5. What amount of time separation is sufficient between a properly owner's separate land use actions on commonly held parcels for them to be considered separate project for permitting requirements?

Washington State Code Reviser's Office